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사립학교, A-levels 부분 시험 지양

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주영한국교육원
Date
00:54 23 Jan 2010
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1662
사립학교, A-levels 부분 시험 지양

□ 사립학교의 A-levels 시험 관련 변화
- 사립학교 교장협의회 결과, 사립학교의 1/6이 현행 AS, A2로 분리된 2년간의 A-Levels 과정에서 1년에 한번씩 시험을 치르던 것을 지양하고, 과정이 끝나고 한번만 시험을 치를 것을 공표

□ 내용
- 사립학교 학교장 협의회(HMC, Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, UK와 아일랜드의 250개 사립학교 대변)의 설문 조사 결과 발표
- 109개 학교 중 15개교가 AS과정을 이미 시행하지 않거나 앞으로 하지 않을 것이라 응답
- 103개교 중 21개교가 2년 과정이 끝난 해 6월에 1번만 학생들이 시험을 치르게 할 것이라고 응답
- 10년 전까지 2년 과정 후 한번만 시험을 치렀으나, 재시험을 치를 수 있는 기회를 주어 결과를 향상하기 위해 현재 단계별 시험 응시 가능

□ 반응
- 사립학교 측
◦ 규격화 된 정부제도를 막무가내로 따르는 것보다 학생의 관심사에 맞게 학업 과정과 자격제도를 조정할 수 있어야 함
◦ 또한 iGCSE(GCSE 대체시험, 공립학교에서 채택불가)를 145개의 사립학교가 채택하고 있는 시점에 GCSE만을 반영한 학교순위표는 잘못되어 있음
- 정부 측 : 학생들이 A-levels을 두 번에 걸쳐 시험을 보게 하여 더 나은 결과를 얻을 수 있도록 해야 함

※상세 내용은 원문 참조


Independent schools 'abandoning modular A-levels'

- Independent schools are turning from modular A-levels towards traditional ones where all papers are taken after two years, a survey suggests.


-BBC, January 15, 2010


The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference says that at one in six of the schools it represents, pupils will only sit the exams after two years.

Independent schools are also calling on the government to recognise iGCSEs.

Ministers say modular A-levels are fair and the iGCSE (an alternative GCSE) does not match the national curriculum.

The survey for the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), which represents 250 fee-paying schools in the UK and the Irish Republic, involved about half of its members.

In total, 15 out of 109 schools that responded to the question said they already do not, or will not, offer AS-levels, while 21 of 103 schools said they are, or are planning to allow, students to only take A-level exams in June of their final year.

Until about 10 years ago, students typically took their A-level exams at the end of their two-year courses.

Today, A-levels are commonly taken in stages, with opportunities for re-takes of individual modules to boost overall grades .


The failure to recognise the iGCSE means that the league tables may be confusing for parents

Gillian Low, President of the Girls' Schools Association
HMC Chairman Andrew Grant, headmaster of St Albans School, Hertfordshire, said: "This [survey] shows how HMC schools are able to use their independence to customise their curriculum and the qualifications they offer to meet the best interests of their students, rather than having to swallow the artificially restricted diet imposed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

"The freedom enjoyed by independent schools from the constraints imposed by government diktat is leading to a divergence of educational experience for pupils in the two sectors that shows no sign of diminishing."

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "The modular exams are fairer because they better reward the hard work of young people over the two-year course - instead of having an all-or-nothing exam at the end.

"A-levels are rigorously scrutinised by the independent watchdog Ofqual to make sure that standards remain high.

"Students have always been able to re-sit A-levels. There are very low levels of re-sits in the new AS-levels and it is bizarre for heads to argue that there is something wrong with having a second chance to do an exam of exactly the same standard - students' achievement is no less valid."

'Flawed league tables'

As league tables were published this week, independent schools renewed their call for the government to recognise the iGCSE qualification, which some fee-paying schools opt for, particularly in maths and English.

Many leading independent schools appear at the bottom of the league tables, because they are based on GCSEs and other accredited qualifications - but do not include the iGCSE.

David Lyscom, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) said: "The comparison of school performance via league tables is deeply flawed, in particular given the wide variety of valid qualifications currently on offer, and the differing views of their worth.

"Indeed, some qualifications - notably the demanding iGCSE - are not considered at all in the tables. ISC therefore calls on the government to ensure that the worth of all relevant qualifications is fully recognised, and on the media to take these important qualifications into account.

"Otherwise they simply serve to misinform and mislead parents."

'Old-fashioned'

Schools which opt for the iGCSE often say they are more rigorous than GCSEs.

This is disputed by the government and some head teachers.

Dr John Dunford, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has said they risk causing an "unfortunate split" between the independent sector.

He has also said they have an "old-fashioned approach", arguing that some modern language courses do not have an oral exam.

State schools are not allowed to enter students for the iGCSE, because the government says they do not meet the requirements of the national curriculum set down for secondary school pupils.

Some 145 fee-paying schools came bottom of this year's school league tables because their pupils sat at least one of the iGCSE courses.

The president of the Girls' Schools Association, Gillian Low, said the government did not recognise iGCSEs because they "did not tick all the boxes on the national curriculum".

"The failure to recognise the iGCSE means that the league tables may be confusing for parents and undermines the government's wish for accountability and transparency," she said.

"You cannot judge a school's examination performance fairly if a highly-regarded qualification is excluded."